Hen introduction

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by chicky68, Oct 27, 2016.

  1. chicky68

    chicky68 Out Of The Brooder

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    Hello everyone, I have a hen and a rooster and I am introducing 3 new astrolop hens. I was wondering if anyone has suggestions so my rooster does not attack them. He's pretty tame but he does try to mount the hen. Not so much during the winter months but a lot during the Spring and Summer. The babies are three months old and I have them outside of their pen free ranging and I have my hen and rooster locked up in their own pen. I alternate them each day just so they have sight of one another and they don't get bored of being inside. I want to introduce them all together but I don't know how I should do it. I was going to let the hen out first and introduce her before the rooster or should I just do them both together, does anybody have a suggestion?
     
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    I'd say that as long as you are present to observe / supervise, you let them out together. As long as there are a number of feeding stations, and areas where the youngsters can get out of the way of the hen, they should be fine. If they have seen each other for a while, then apart from the odd peck here and there, things should be fine.

    I'd be surprised if you will observe any aggression / mounting behaviour from your roo on such young pullets.

    Here's a link that may help

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/introducing-new-chickens-using-the-see-but-don-t-touch-method
     
  3. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Your new pullets are nearly grown, so they should be able to handle the flock dynamics and settle into the existing social order without too much trouble.

    However, it's been my experience that young pullets will be very intimidated by the older chickens around the feeders. This is going to be your main issue - making certain your new pullets get enough to eat.

    I have three pullets a few months older than yours. Each morning, these three get a small bowl of food in a sectioned-off portion of the run. They get to eat in peace and fill their crops without being hounded away from the other feeders by the older members of the flock. This takes all of five minutes, and I let them back out. They're able to fend for themselves at the feeders during the remainder of the day, but they're assured of that first unmolested bowl of food.

    Adjusting to a new, older flock is stressful. Your pullets need proper nourishment to be able to handle it. I usually continue this special feeding first thing each morning until they start to lay, then they seem to be able to handle things on their own from then on.
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    How old are your hen and rooster?
    I assume older than a year from the bolded sentence above?
    Chances are if you cockbird(rooster) is fully mature and not overly aggressive(another assumption from him living peaceably with only one female for that long),
    he should pretty much leave the new pullets alone as he will realize they are not sexually mature and will not try to mate them.
    He may even keep the hen from attacking the new pullets.

    Sounds like you've gotten a good start with integration by alternating free range time.
    Do the younger birds have their own coop and run close to where the older birds coop and run is?
    Multiple fee/water stations is always a good idea...and first meeting might be best done while they are all free ranging.
     
  5. chicky68

    chicky68 Out Of The Brooder

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    Hello everyone, my hen and my rooster are just over 3 years old. The bold sentence was a typo. LOL. They seem to be doing okay there is some pecking going on but no attacking. I do feed them first in their cage without anyone around them. Then i let them out for the day. I'm just not sure how much pecking is ok? Its just here and there not constant or immediate.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Mating is more prevalent in spring and summer.

    As long as everyone is getting plenty to eat/drink, there is no copious bloodshed, and no one is being pinned down and beaten unmercilessly, let them work it out.
    Pecking is how they communicate and establish the 'pecking order'.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2016
  7. chicky68

    chicky68 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 21, 2014
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    Definitely none of that going on. All getting plenty to eat and drink. I will post pics as soon as i can figure it out again. Lol! Thanks everyone!
     

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